IPOH: Gonzalo Peillat is a one-man army for Argentina.
He's only 25 years old, but has helped Argentina win bronze at the 2014 World Cup at the Hague, Netherlands by top-scoring with 10 goals.
Peillat's best achievement so far is winning the gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. No prizes for guessing, yes, he was again the tournament’s top-scorer with 11 goals.
And Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) hired him for the recent Malaysia Hockey League, where he duly became the tournament’s top-scorer on 16 goals to help THT win the League title.
The drag-flick specialist has scored back-to-back hat-tricks in the Azlan Shah Cup, to help beat India 3-2 and Ireland 5-3.
And tomorrow, Argentina will bank on Peillat to demolish Malaysia in the 27th edition of the Azlan Shah Cup.
"The last time we played Argentina in a tournament was in the World League Semifinals (in London 2017) and we lost 5-2 (in Group A). And then we against lost to them 2-1 (in the semi-finals).
"They are the Olympic champions and I expect them to give us a tough time but we are ready to challenge them.
"It is going to be a difficult game, and we have to be wary of their penalty corners as Peillat scored four in their 5-2 win in London, and he has scored six goals in two matches so far," said Malaysia coach Stephen van Huizen.
Van Huizen has plans on how to run out during penalty corners, and hopefully they work.
"We practised some run outs during the two friendly games (where Malaysia lost 3-2 and then won 3-0) and just like every team here in Ipoh, we will be looking to minimise giving away penalty corners.
"And if we do give away penalty corners, we need to perfect our run outs against Peillat," said Van Huizen.